Take a lesson from Drake — cardigans aren’t just for your grandfather anymore. Tons of fashionable guys have embraced them, mainly because they’re classic, they’re comfortable, and they’re versatile. Wear one over a button-down and you’ll look professional, but still be comfortable. Wear one over an old t-shirt and you’ll look way more more put together than you would if you were just wearing your favorite hoodie. And bonus: in Fall weather, cardigans can double as a light jacket.
We’ve rounded up 15 of our favorites—buy several of them, because trust this: they’ll never go out of style.
Bonobos Yorkshire Merino Cardigan
You’re not going to fork over the cash for more than a couple cashmere sweaters, and that’s fine. Instead, go for merino sweaters, like this Yorkshire Merino Cardigan from Bonobos. Merino is like cashmere’s more down-to-Earth sister. Or, think of it another way—merino is Betty, cashmere is Veronica. Got it? Good.
Uniqlo Lambswool V-Neck Cardigan
You can count on Uniqlo to get the basics right, and they do exactly that with this V-Neck Cardigan, crafted out of 100% soft, thick lambswool. Available in a variety of colors, this sweater has been specially treated to resist pilling, which means it’ll be a staple in your closet for years to come.
LL Bean Cotton & Cashmere Cardigan
LL Bean’s Cotton & Cashmere Cardigan has a helluva lot more cotton than cashmere in it, but we’re okay with that. It’s lightweight, available in gray, navy, and maroon, and has two open pockets at the waist.
J. Crew Wallace & Barnes Fisherman Cardigan
Modeled after the classic Fisherman sweater (which is traditionally made out of wool to help seafarers stay warm in the face of the ocean’s cold breeze), J. Crew’s Fisherman Cardigan is actually crafted out of two-tone thick cotton, with a cableknit pattern on the shoulders for extra flair.
J. Crew Italian Wool Shawl-Collar Cardigan
Another offering from J. Crew, this Shawl-Collar Cardigan is made from a blend of Italian Donegal wool (“Donegal” means the yarns have colorful flecks in them) and Shetland wool, which means when you’re wearing this you’ll stay warm and look fashionable.
Scotch & Soda Lambswool Cardigan
Amsterdam-based Scotch & Soda’s Lambswool Cardigan (available in gray, navy, and maroon) is slim and simple, with a single chest pocket perfect for storing your iPhone when not in-use.
Club Monaco Shawl-Collar Merino Wool Cardigan
They say no man’s wardrobe is complete until he’s got a good suit hanging in it, but we want to amend that to include a navy shawl-collar cardigan as well, like this one from Club Monaco. Crafted from extra-fine ribbed merino wool, it’s a classic, high-end piece that you’ll be glad you have in your arsenal. Extra features like suede elbow patches and brown buttons make it feel a bit more special than other cardigans you’ll find.
Ralph Lauren Waffle-Knit Cardigan
Ralph Lauren is known as the go-to place for all things preppy, so its no wonder they have a number of cardigans on offer. This Waffle-Knit Cardigan, though, is a little less preppy and a little more urbane than you’d expect from an American heritage brand like Ralph Lauren. Made from heathered cotton, this cardigan has the feel of the your favorite waffle-knit Henley but because it has buttons (and denim elbow patches!), it’s decidedly dressier. Wear it to work on Fridays.
Brooks Brothers Mockneck Cardigan
We all know that Brooks Brothers can make a good suit, but they also have a ton of high-quality sweaters on offer—the kind of sweaters that just look expensive. This red Mockneck Cardigan is unique not only because of its collar, but also because it has a hidden zipper underneath the tortoiseshell buttons.
Orvis Wool-Blend Shawl Cardigan
If there’s one cardigan on this list that was made for sitting around a fire, it’s this one from venerable outdoor brand Orvis. Made out of a ribbed wool and nylon blend, the shawl-collar cardigan features two lower patch pockets, faux suede elbow patches, and sturdy brown buttons. Throw this thing on, cozy up by a crackling fire, and enjoy a glass of whiskey or three.
Scotch & Soda Chunky Knitted Cardigan
Another offering from Scotch & Soda, this thick, textured cardigan will keep you both warm and looking good, wherever you go this season.
Jack Spade Goodwin Merino Cardigan
Most cardigans are available in darker colors, but tan (or, camel) is the color of the season, so you’ll look totally in-the-know when donning this Goodwin Merino Cardigan from Jack Spade. Made from ultra-soft merino wool, it has a contrasting color stripe beneath the button closure and two pockets at the waist.
Billy Reid Fisherman Cardigan
With this offering, celebrated menswear designer Billy Reid takes a stab at the traditional Fisherman sweater, and we’re here to tell you that he does it damn well. Crafted out of alpaca wool, this dark gray, textured cardigan was made in Italy, and just one look at it and you’ll know that this is more than work appropriate. Throw on your suit and wear this instead of the suit’s jacket.
ISAIA Shawl-Collar Cable-Knit Cardigan
Nearly $1,000 for a sweater might seem a little ridiculous (okay, or a lot ridiculous), but if you’ve got the cash to burn, this Shawl-Collar Cable-Knit Cardigan is a good thing to spend it on. Handmade in Italy, it’s crafted out of 100% wool, has a cable-knit design, and is flecked with white, making you look like you’ve just come in from a charming snowstorm. How quaint.
Thom Browne Striped Wool Cardigan
Designer Thom Browne is known for his suits, but he also does less formal wear really well, too, as evidenced by this Striped Wool Cardigan. Like most of Browne’s wares, it has a preppy, collegiate vibe to it, with its white stripes on one arm and the designer’s signature red, white, and blue stripes on the underside of the button strip.
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